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Florida Sports

Lightning lift Stanley Cup in capping NHL’s marathon season

By JOHN WAWROW
AP Hockey Writer
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh was preparing to answer one last question regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup championship when teammates Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn crashed the room, putting an abrupt and celebratory end to the news conference.
“Whoís next? Next question,” Kucherov said, looking into the camera.
With McDonagh stopping in mid-sentence, Killorn stepped behind the podium and said, “We’re not staying here all night, man.”
The wait for the Lightning — and the NHL — was long enough after Tampa Bay clinched the Cup with a 2-0 win in Game 6 against Dallas on Monday night in Edmonton, Alberta.
The Lightning raised the Cup 363 days after the first puck was dropped on the 2019-20 season, and some 6 1/2 months after hockey was put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We knew what we were capable of with our whole roster, and we were pretty thankful to get the opportunity to come back and play,” McDonagh said.
The Lightning’s title, their second after winning in 2004, was historic.
In becoming the first team to win the Cup after the month of June, the Lightning also became the first to win 18 playoff games, including two in a preliminary round seeding series, as opposed to the standard 16. And they did so while spending 65 days in the NHL bubble, starting in Toronto before relocating to Edmonton for the conference finals.
“Obviously, we can go back and look at what’s going on in the world now,” said Maroon, who won the Cup last year with St. Louis. “I think a lot of us are going to sit back and talk about this one a lot, because this one was a special one, and a hard one to win.”
The Lightning returned home later Tuesday, greeted by family members and hundreds of fans on an airstrip near Tampa International Airport.
The crowd cheered team members exiting the plane. Defenseman Victor Hedman, holding his Conn Smythe Trophy, and team captain Steven Stamkos, hoisting the Stanley Cup, were the last to leave the airplane.
“To finally be here and enjoy it, it’s awesome,” Killorn said. “It’s kind of surreal right now to be honest.”
Once reunited with their families, the team members were taken to Amalie Arena for a private on-ice celebration that included their wives, girlfriends, children, arena staff workers and team sponsors.
Team owner Jeff Vinik said the Lightning have been one of the most successful teams in the NHL, but were missing one thing.
“Over the past six years we’ve been to four conference finals and played for the Stanley Cup,” Vinik said. “This time we won it.”
Stamkos thanked the families for their patience as the players spent more than 60 days in the NHL’s bubble in Toronto and Edmonton.
“This was probably the toughest Stanley Cup to win under the circumstances,” Stamkos said. “It’s amazing the sacrifices the families went through just to allow us to chase our dreams.”
A fan rally and boat parade along the Hillsborough River is set for today, followed by a public celebration at Raymond James Stadium where 16,000 fans are expected to attend.
While the Lightning celebrate, the NHL turns its attention to next week, when the two-day draft — to be conducted remotely — opens on Oct. 6, followed by the start of free agency three days later.
It remains unclear when the 2020-21 season will open, either in December or early January, though the plan is to squeeze in a full 82-game schedule.
The experienced and deep Lightning made Stars coach Rick Bowness’ pre-series comments prescient. Bowness, a former Tampa Bay assistant, noted how the Lightning “weren’t quite ready to win” in 2015 in losing the final to Chicago in six games.
This year’s team proved far more battle-tested, with much of the same core still in place, and all too familiar with playoff setbacks. The Lightning lost Eastern Conference final appearances — both in Game 7 — in 2016 and 2018. Then there was the unshakable memory of last year, when Tampa Bay ran away with the regular-season title only to be swept by Columbus in the first round.
It was only fitting, McDonagh said, that Columbus was the Lightning’s first-round opponent this year. Tampa Bay not only won the series in five games, but showed perseverance in opening the series needing five overtimes to pull out a 3-2 win in the fourth-longest game in NHL history.
They did it with Stamkos limited to playing just two minutes and 47 seconds while missing the rest of the playoffs with a core muscle injury. And they overcame leading goal-scorer Brayden Point missing two games (both losses) with an undisclosed injury.
The Lightning never lost two straight, and enjoyed a few blowout victories, including 8-2 and 7-1 routs over Boston and the Islanders. More important, Tampa Bay was 12-3 in games decided by one goal.
General manager Julien BriseBois earned credit for adding grit and playoff experience. Maroon and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk were among the team’s offseason free-agent additions. BriseBois didn’t stop there, trading first-round draft picks to acquire Barclay Goodrow from San Jose and Blake Coleman from New Jersey in February.
The Lightning, who finished second in the Atlantic Division with a 43-21-6 record, capped a season in which they enjoyed a franchise-record 11-0 run from Jan. 29 to Feb. 17 following a 14-11 start.
Shattenkirk credited coach Jon Cooper for not over-reacting to the early stumbles.
“I think his patience was probably the best characteristic,” Shattenkirk said earlier this month. “He showed throughout the whole way in believing in our team and believing in the guys we had in the locker room.”
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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Categories
Florida Sports

The NBA Finals: Why the Heat will win the championship

By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — This pick doesn’t make much sense. The best scorer on the Miami Heat might be a baby-faced rookie. The best player had never been past the second round of the playoffs before this season. The starting center wasn’t good enough to make a USA Basketball World Cup team that went to China last year and managed to only finish seventh. And the Heat have been the NBA’s best team this season in basically two categories: true shooting percentage (which is good) and double-digit leads blown (which is not).
Hey, it’s 2020. Nothing makes sense.
And that’s why this is the pick: The Miami Heat are going to win the NBA championship.
For the 25 years that Pat Riley has been in Miami and running the Heat, the franchise has lived by a code that he came up with. Their mandate, every day, is to be “the hardest-working, best-conditioned, most-professional, unselfish, toughest, meanest, nastiest team in the NBA.”
Riley had no idea that he was writing the blueprint for how a basketball team could thrive inside a bubble during a pandemic, of course.
The Heat were made for the bubble. The bubble rewarded toughness, both of body and mind. It tested players and teams in ways nobody thought possible; the isolation from the outside world, the isolation from family, the inability for multimillionaire athletes and coaches to come and go as they please and do whatever they want, with whomever they want, whenever they want.
Miami embraced all that. Jimmy Butler, with a baby at home and whose entire circle is a very tight knit group of family and friends that aren’t in the bubble, tried to relax by opening what started as a faux coffee shop for teammates that might actually become a real business opportunity. He didn’t want his family in the bubble even when guests were allowed; he wanted that edge that comes from not having loved ones around, that responsibility he feels to make up for his absence by bringing them a championship.
Butler made it past the second round for the first time. Tyler Herro, a rookie in name only, takes and makes big shot after big shot. Bam Adebayo, who came into this season with a soul on fire after he felt he was snubbed by USA Basketball, has shown the world what the Heat already knew: He’s a superstar and about to get paid like one.
Erik Spoelstra is about to coach in the finals for the fifth time in 10 years. The job he has done in the bubble is nothing short of masterful. Kendrick Nunn and Meyers Leonard were starters for this team all season. They’re not in the rotation now, after the Heat changed the way it plays for the playoffs, a move that most coaches wouldn’t have the courage to make. Not Spoelstra. The Heat are always all-in on one thing: finding a way to win it all.
Beating the Los Angeles Lakers in this series won’t be easy. They — like every other NBA team — do not have a way of silencing LeBron James, who will be highly motivated to beat his former team. James and Anthony Davis are the best two players in this series. The finals are typically a showcase for stars; the team with the most stars usually wins.
Nothing’s typical about 2020.
The Lakers have the talent. The Heat have the chemistry. If there’s one lesson learned from this pandemic world that now exists, it should be to trust science.
Chemistry wins. Heat in six.
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Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds(at)ap.org
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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Categories
Florida Sports

Dolphins’ Tagovailoa misses practice because of illness

MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa missed practice Wednesday because of an illness that wasn’t related to the coronavirus, coach Brian Flores said.
The Dolphins’ top draft pick and former Alabama star has yet to play as the backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Their other quarterback, rookie Reid Sinnett, is on the practice squad.
Miami (1-2) plays host to Seattle (3-0) on Sunday.
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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

Categories
Florida Sports

QBs Costello, Trask set pace with big numbers in SEC openers

By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
Southeastern Conference fans expecting defenses to be ahead of offenses could not have been prepared for the big passing games from Mississippi State’s K.J. Costello and Florida’s Kyle Trask to open the season.
Trask and Costello were the league’s biggest opening week surprises as they showed they are quarterbacks to be watched in 2020.
Trask completed 30 of 42 passes for 416 yards and six touchdowns in a 51-35 win at Mississippi. Trask, opening his first full season as a starter, set a high measuring stick for No. 3 Florida against South Carolina this week.
The biggest shocker came in Baton Rouge, when Costello, a Stanford transfer, passed for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat No. 6 LSU 44-34.
In his first game with Mississippi State, Costello blew past the conference’s passing record that stood for 27 years. Georgia’s Eric Zeier threw for 544 yards against Southern Mississippi in 1993.
Costello and No. 16 Mississippi State will test the “Air Raid” attack against Arkansas this week.
Some may have seen the SEC’s 2019 class of quarterbacks as an outlier.
After all, it was the first year the league had two quarterbacks selected in the first round of the draft.
LSU’s Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa were selected among the top five NFL draft picks. Now new talent is emerging at quarterback.
Florida coach Dan Mullen said the big offense in many SEC games was the result of the coronavirus pandemic which wiped out spring practice for most teams.
“Normally at the beginning of the season, everybody is like, ‘OK the defenses are great and the offenses are going to take a little time to catch up,'” Mullen said Monday. “I think now that you have eliminated spring ball, when you eliminate the amount of tackling that you have done at this time, you expand this long training camp with the limitations that we had in it. I think it’s an advantage for the offense really, so this is what you are seeing.”
The biggest advantage came through the air.
While 11 SEC quarterbacks threw for at least 200 yards, there was only one 100-yard rusher in the league. Freshman Isaiah Spiller ran for 117 yards as No. 13 Texas A&M beat Vanderbilt.
Expect bigger games as running backs solidify lead roles. Georgia’s Zamir White ran for 71 yards at Arkansas as the Bulldogs’ replacement for D’Andre Swift, and White will be a key player as No. 4 Georgia plays No. 7 Auburn on Saturday.
Costello and Trask were not the league’s only first-week surprises.
GAMECOCKS DEBUT
Graduate transfer Collin Hill made an instant impact at quarterback for South Carolina against what’s expected to be a strong defense for Tennessee.
The ex-Colorado State passer coming off his third ACL injury rallied the Gamecocks after the Vols took a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter with three long scoring drives.
No. 21 Tennessee held on for a 31-27 victory, but Hill passed for 290 yards, threw a touchdown and ran for another. It was a promising debut for Hill and provided hope for a South Carolina offense that ranked 12th in the SEC last season.
Hill and the Gamecocks play No. 3 Florida on Saturday.
ROCKY SPECIAL TEAMS
The pandemic cut into the ability to have special teams practice. That showed as Tennessee had to switch long snappers after a bad snap on a punt early in their win at South Carolina and also missed a field goal.
Tennessee had to cancel a practice in August and turned a planned scrimmage into a practice because the Vols were missing players.
“I don’t think it’s adding a period or two, it’s about having players available,” said coach Jeremy Pruitt. “Your first four practices, you have no specialists there and then maybe 10 out of the next 14 you have over 50 players that are absent. With no spring ball, it’s not like there is any carryover.”
OPPORTUNITY FOR NEWKIRK
Preseason All-SEC defensive end Big Kat Bryant saw limited action in No. 7 Auburn’s 29-13 win over Kentucky because of an unspecified injury.
DaQuan Newkirk took advantage of the opportunity with a career game. Newkirk had six tackles, four solo, with two for a loss and one sack. He had five tackles last season and 12 total in 20 games since transferring from junior college.
“I think I played pretty well, honestly,” Newkirk said. “It kind of surprised me. On another note, I’m healthy so it’s like a big difference this year. … It’s going to be a different year for me.”
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AP Sports Writers Pete Iacobelli, Mark Long, Teresa Walker and John Zenor contributed to this report.
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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25

Categories
employment news

3 steps to writing a cover letter that will get you hired

The challenge of getting a new job is greater today than ever before, due to a number of factors—including the recent events disrupting the global economy and impacting businesses across all industries and sectors worldwide, as well as a huge resultant surge in people searching for new employment opportunities.

These are indeed challenging times, which means that it’s absolutely mission-critical for you to be at your unequivocal best if you want to grab and hold the attention of recruiters, hiring managers, and HR personnel to lock down a new job.

Chief among your objectives when ramping up an effective job search is to craft the foundational template for a pitch-perfect cover letter. (Of course, your letters should be personalized for each job you apply for—more on that later.) In fact, the right cover letter may just turn out to be the single most important weapon in your job search arsenal.

Why? Simply put, it’s all about the power of first impressions. For most of us on the job hunt trail, our cover letter is the first opportunity to show who we are to the individuals who stand as the gatekeepers between us and the next position on our career journeys. First impressions can be incredibly potent—they can go a long way toward shaping how people define you and can be quite difficult to overcome and alter once they’re set.

Clearly, it’s in your best interest to take your cover letters seriously. Consider the following strategies for writing letters that will help you grab the attention of hiring personnel and get you noticed—and hopefully hired.

1. Always personalize

Besides having sentences full of misspellings and grammatical errors, there’s nothing worse than pumping out “one size fits all” boilerplate letters that simply swap out the company name and date and leave the main body as a drab, impersonal, and often ineffective effort. Any hiring manager worth their title can spot these letters a mile away, and they’re often red flags when it comes to evaluating candidates—for good reason. If you’re going to show such a lackluster effort when the stakes are this high and fail to make a compelling case why you’re interested in their specific company and why you’d be a good fit for their team, then what would make them think that you’d be a real asset if hired? Smart candidates personalize each and every letter they send out and make it clear that they’ve done their homework and have a genuine interest in the companies they’re applying to.

2. Tell a story

Recruiters and HR personnel who are in the midst of hiring for a position (or many positions) have very limited time and attention to give to each candidate and cover letter—especially after having sifted through a huge stack of them. That said, letters that are simply dull reiterations of a candidate’s qualifications may fail to register or have a meaningful impact on their audience. Conversely, letters that poignantly (and succinctly!) tell the story of who you are, both as a candidate and as a person, can really help you rise above the competition and stand out on hiring radars—a crucial element of the job search formula. Don’t forget, hiring personnel aren’t just hiring a set of qualifications, they’re hiring people. Make sure you represent exactly the kind of person and employee you will be within their organization.

3. Demonstrate value

Sure, you want your eagerness and passion to come across when crafting a cover letter, and you want readers to get the impression that getting the job is important to you. But if your cover letter stops there, then chances are it isn’t going to open many doors for you. The real mission of a truly effective cover letter should be the opposite—to demonstrate what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you. After all, there’s a reason they’re reading your letter in the first place—they have a specific need that they’re looking to take care of in order to benefit their organization. If you can show in your letter how you can not only meet that need but also demonstrate added value to help them achieve new levels of success, then you’ll really be setting yourself up to make a great first impression.

If you’re on the job hunt and eager to find your next great opportunity, use the strategies and advice presented here to help your cover letters make a great first impression and have a lasting positive impact. Good luck!

The post 3 steps to writing a cover letter that will get you hired appeared first on TheJobNetwork.

Categories
AP Wire Michigan Sports

Detroit Tigers’ young pitchers create excitement but still suffer through growing pains

By NOAH TRISTER
AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT — Shortly after his final start of the season, Casey Mize sounded ready to get right back to work.
“I’m going to be really motivated to get a lot better,” the Detroit right-hander said.
Mize’s arrival — along with that of fellow pitching prospect Tarik Skubal — was a significant moment for the Tigers during this shortened season, but if Detroit fans expected an immediate impact, they may have been disappointed. Mize went 0-3 with a 6.99 ERA, and Skubal was 1-4 with a 5.63 ERA.
After 114 losses in 2019, the Tigers improved enough to move into contention for a spot in this year’s expanded postseason, but then a late collapse left them at 23-35. Only two major league teams finished behind Detroit.
Mize, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft, showed some of his potential in a September start when he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Chicago White Sox, but he mostly struggled through his seven starts. Neither Mize nor Skubal had pitched above Double-A before this year, and because of the coronavirus pandemic, they didn’t have a chance to get a few starts under their belt in Triple-A in 2020.
“I’m not lost. I feel like I have the stuff to be here,” Mize said. “It’s execution, command, sequencing — all that stuff. It’s really tough to execute when you can’t command, and really tough to sequence when you can’t execute.”
Detroit’s offense improved a bit after a dreadful 2019, but the Tigers finished last in the majors in ERA, so the development of their young pitchers is crucial.
First, Detroit will need to hire a new manager after Ron Gardenhire retired late this season. Lloyd McClendon took over on an interim basis for the final few games.
“The rebuild is almost over with,” McClendon said. “Now it’s time to start winning ballgames and start playing the game the way you want to play it.”
After all the talk about the pitchers, the most impressive rookie for the Tigers this year was shortstop Willi Castro, who hit .349 with a .932 OPS.
At age 26 and with over 300 major league games played, Jeimer Candelario shouldn’t really be considered a prospect, but he did take a big step forward this year, hitting .297 and finishing second on the team to Miguel Cabrera in RBIs. Cabrera hit 10 home runs this year after hitting only 12 in a normal-length season in 2019. He also was healthy enough to play almost every game, but his .746 OPS was almost exactly the same as the previous season.

Categories
AP Wire Michigan Sports

Detroit Lions look to build on Sunday’s win that ended 11-game losing streak

By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
ALLEN PARK — Even though Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia had to wait 11 months to experience the thrill of victory, he insisted relief didn’t describe his feelings.
“I don’t ride the roller coaster,” Patricia said Monday, a day after ending an 11-game losing streak at Arizona. “I just have to stay consistent. I think it’s hard to lead if you ride the roller coaster.
“I think it’s hard to exist in this world of competitive football if you ride that roller coaster because I think when you do that, you just hope it stops when you’re at the high point and not the down point.”
The Lions looked like they might be headed for rock bottom after an 0-2 start. They prepared for their road game against the Kyler Murray-led Cardinals amid questions about how much longer Patricia would keep his job.
Detroit, though, scored first as it has in each game this season and finished strong for a change.
Matthew Stafford led the Lions to victory for the 35th time in his career when were they tied or behind in the fourth quarter or overtime. Matt Prater’s field goal as time expired gave Detroit a 26-23 win.
“It felt really, really good,” defensive end Romeo Okwara acknowledged. “It has been way too long since we got a win.”
WHAT’S WORKING
Adrian Peterson. The 35-year-old gained 27 yards on his first carry and finished with 22 rushes for 75 yards along with a catch for 10 yards.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Red zone offense. The Lions have scored six touchdowns in 13 drives in the red zone.
“We settled for field goals in the red zone too often,” tight end Jesse James said. “We got to find a way to get it in.”
STOCK UP
James suddenly became part of the passing game, making three catches for 28 yards and a touchdown against Arizona. James did not have a reception in the first two games this year and averaged one catch per game in 2019 in a scoreless first season with the team.
STOCK DOWN
Detroit signed Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a $45 million, five-year contract to start at right tackle. After missing the first two games with a foot injury, Vaitai started at right guard against the Cardinals. He struggled in pass protection, including late when he was called for holding to negate a long pass to the Arizona 1.

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International Headlines

UK, Canada impose sanctions on Belarus president, officials

LONDON (AP) — Britain and Canada imposed sanctions Tuesday on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, his son and other senior government officials following the country’s disputed presidential election and a violent crackdown on protesters in Belarus.
U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the sanctions were part of a coordinated approach with Canada “in a bid to uphold democratic values and put pressure on those responsible for repression.”
Raab called Lukashenko’s rule “violent and fraudulent” and said the sanctions are meant to send a clear message that “we don’t accept the results of this rigged election.”
“We will hold those responsible for the thuggery deployed against the Belarusian people to account,” he said.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron pushed Tuesday for European mediation in the Belarus political crisis after meeting with the ex-Soviet republic’s opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, during a visit to Lithuania.
The opposition in Belarus has challenged the results of the country’s Aug. 9 presidential election, which gave Lukashenko a sixth term in office. Opposition figures and some poll workers say the results were fraudulent. Since the vote, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets daily for more than seven weeks to demand his resignation.
The Belarus government has met the uproar with a violent crackdown on protesters and targeting the protest organizers. During the first few days, police arrested more than 7,000 people and beat protesters. Since then, opposition activists have been jailed and threatened with prosecution.
The British measures include a travel ban and asset freeze on eight officials from the Belarusian government, including Lukashenko, son Victor Lukashenko and Igor Sergeenko, the head of the presidential administration. Similar sanctions were imposed by Canada.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Canada and the U.K. acted in concert to ensure the sanctions have a greater impact.
“Canada stands in solidarity with the people of Belarus as they struggle to restore human rights and achieve democracy in their country,” Champagne said.
The British government said Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus with an iron fist for over 26 years, is the first leader sanctioned under Britain’s new global human rights sanctions program, which was introduced in July.
After a meeting Tuesday with Macron, Tsikhanouskaya, Lukashenko’s exiled opponent, told reporters that the French leader “promised us to do everything to help with negotiations, for this political crisis in our country.” Macron also pledged to do all he could to help release political prisoners in Belarus, she said.
Tsikhanouskaya went into exile in Lithuania after the Belarusian presidential election.
“We had a very good discussion. Now we need to be pragmatic and to support Belarus people and we will do all that,” Macron told reporters.
Macron hoped that EU sanctions against Belarus officials will be adopted at the next European Union summit, according to Tsikhanouskaya’s advisor, Franak Vyachorko.
The EU said last week it does not recognize Lukashenko as president, but EU foreign ministers failed to impose sanctions on Belarus officials suspected of election fraud or of playing a part in the brutal crackdown on protesters.
Whether the bloc imposes sanctions will depend on whether member state Cyprus changes its position during the EU summit this week. Cyprus has so far insisted it won’t agree to sanctions on Belarus unless the bloc also imposes sanctions on Turkey in a separate dispute.
Lukashenko has defied calls for him to step down or for outside experts to help mediate the crisis.
Many prominent members of a council formed with the aim of arranging a transfer of power in Belarus have been arrested or have fled the country. The protests have persisted despite daily detentions of demonstrators, including 500 protesters detained last weekend.

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International Headlines

Crown prince becomes oil-rich Kuwait’s new ruling emir

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah became the oil-rich nation’s new ruling emir Tuesday night, reaching the highest post in the country after decades in its security services.
Sheikh Nawaf, 83, had served as the crown prince since 2006, jumping a traditional order of alternating rule between the Al Jaber and the Al Salim branches of the country’s ruling family.
While his taking of the throne came as prescribed by Kuwait’s constitution, there likely will be negotiations behind the scenes in the weeks ahead over who will become the country’s next crown prince.
Those discussions likely will take time as Kuwait mourns its late ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who died Tuesday at the age of 91, and weighs who best represents a country that had carefully positioned itself amid regional rivalries.
Sheikh Nawaf “may provide a welcome respite of unity in transition,” wrote Kristin Smith Diwan, a scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. “Yet, 83 years old and without any clear national program, his reign is unlikely to deter the sharp competition already underway to claim the title of his successor.”
State television carried an address by Anas Khalid al-Saleh, Kuwait’s interior minister and deputy prime minister, announcing Sheikh Nawaf had taken the position just hours after Sheikh Sabah’s death.
Sheikh Nawaf, like his half-brother Sheikh Sabah, was born before Kuwait discovered the oil that would make this small nation among the richest in the world. Born June 25, 1937, Sheikh Nawaf became a governor of Kuwait’s Hawalli region and later the country’s interior minister, a position he held for nearly a decade.
As interior minister, Sheikh Nawaf negotiated in 1980 with two Jordanians who hijacked a Boeing 727 heading from Beirut to Kuwait City. The hijackers ultimately gave up the plane without harming any passengers on board. Sheikh Nawaf negotiated in other hijackings as well.
Kuwait separately faced militant bombings during his time as interior minister, which authorities blamed on Iran.
Sheikh Nawaf served as Kuwait’s defense minister beginning in 1988. He’d be in the role in 1990, when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and occupied the nation for seven months.
“Our citizens inside Kuwait are disobeying orders and not following instructions and they are being mistreated,” Sheikh Nawaf said at the time.
On Feb. 24, 1991, U.S. troops and their allies stormed into Kuwait. It ended 100 hours later. America suffered only 148 combat deaths during the whole campaign, while over 20,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed.
Sheikh Nawaf briefly served as social affairs and labor minister after the war, then as the deputy chief of Kuwait’s National Guard and again as interior minister. He became the crown prince under Sheikh Sabah in February 2006.
Sheikh Nawaf is married, with four sons and one daughter. He hasn’t been known for making any major political decisions while serving as crown prince.
Sheikh Nawaf is “is seen by many in Kuwait as an uncontroversial choice as emir, albeit probably serving only a short term considering his age,” analysts Simon Henderson and Kristian Coates Ulrichsen wrote in an analysis last October for the Washington Institute for Near-East Policy. “His uncertain health may also affect both the length and the vigor of his time as emir.”
The analysts added: “These facts, together with his easy-going personality, make it more likely that whoever becomes his crown prince will have the opportunity to more forcefully shape the direction of Kuwaiti leadership.”

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International Headlines

Israeli PM to UN: Hezbollah storing missiles in Beirut

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of maintaining a “secret arms depot” in a residential neighborhood of Beirut, warning it could cause another tragic explosion in the Lebanese capital.
Hezbollah denied the allegations and invited international and local media to immediately visit the site, where they found a small factory housing heavy machinery but no weapons.
In an address to the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu pointed to maps purportedly showing the missile depot’s location next to a gas company and residential housing, not far from Beirut’s international airport. He also showed what he said was a picture of the entrance to the depot.
“Here’s where the next explosion will take place, right here,” he said.
“You’ve got to act now, you’ve got to protest this, because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy,” Netanyahu said, addressing the Lebanese people. “You should tell them, ‘Tear these depots down.'”
Last month, a warehouse filled with nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in Beirut’s port, killing nearly 200 people, wounding thousands and causing widespread destruction in the capital.
The ammonium nitrate had been stored there for several years after being removed from an impounded cargo ship. No one has yet been held accountable for the blast, which appears to have been triggered by an accidental fire.
Israel has long accused Hezbollah of storing weapons and maintaining military posts in civilian areas, especially in the southern suburbs of Beirut and southern Lebanon, both strongholds of support for the Iran-backed militant group.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah denied Netanyahu’s allegations, insisting the group does not store missiles in civilian facilities.
“Whoever wants to go can go now. If Hezbollah is storing missiles in this facility, then there is not enough time to remove them,” Nasrallah said in a televised address. “We don’t store missiles at the port or near gas facilities. We know where to store missiles.”
“We will allow media outlets to enter the facility so that the world knows that Netanyahu is lying,” he added.
Dozens of reporters, including an Associated Press photographer, toured the small factory in the southern neighborhood of Jnah late Tuesday, where they saw large pieces of iron and steel, heavy machinery and oxygen canisters — but no missiles or weapons of any kind.
Hezbollah spokesman Mohammed Afif, who led the tour, said the facility did not belong to the militant group.
“You can see the missile and the missile factory behind you,” he said sarcastically. “We want to confirm again that all charges by the enemy are mere lies.”
After Netanyahu’s address, the Israeli military released detailed maps showing the site in Jnah and two other alleged missile depots it said were under residential apartment blocks.
It described all three as precision-guided missile manufacturing sites. The military provided precise locations of what it called weapons sites but gave no other evidence and did not say how advanced the manufacturing program is.
Israel has long warned that Hezbollah is seeking to manufacture precision-guided missiles or add guidance systems to its existing projectiles, something Israel insists is a red line that may require military action.
Hezbollah is believed to have massively expanded its arsenal in the years since it fought Israel to a monthlong stalemate in 2006. Israel believes Hezbollah has tens of thousands of rockets and missiles capable of hitting virtually anywhere in Israel, but precision guidance would make them far more lethal.
Netanyahu said another depot had exploded just a few days ago in the southern Lebanese village of Ain Qana, near the port city of Sidon. It is not clear what caused that explosion, which sent smoke billowing into the sky but did not cause any casualties.
The Israeli prime minister usually uses his annual address to the United Nations to highlight Israel’s concerns about archenemy Iran and its nuclear program.
And he does it in a distinctive manner. In contrast to most leaders, who typically sit behind desks or stand at podiums, he often uses visual aids such as maps and diagrams to make his points. This year, talking about potential explosions, he delivered his speech against the backdrop of a Jerusalem street scene filled with intense oranges and yellows.
This year, Netanyahu said the recent decision by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel showed that Israel and Arab countries “stand together in confronting the greatest enemy of peace in the Middle East — Iran.”
Netanyahu claimed that Iran would have “enough enriched uranium in a few months for two nuclear bombs” after it recently began exceeding limits set by the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran began publicly exceeding those limits after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement and reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran. Iran insists it has never sought nuclear weapons and that its atomic program is for civilian purposes.
Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of the nuclear deal, praised Trump’s decision to withdraw from it and called on the world to follow the U.S. in snapping back sanctions.
He also reiterated his willingness to negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of Trump’s proposal to end the conflict, which overwhelmingly favors Israel and has been rejected by the Palestinians.